PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Cannabis sales have now been legal in Illinois for over a year. The tax dollars associated are now being reinvested here locally and across the state.
Through a program named Restore, Reinvest, and Renew, $31.5 million dollars in cannabis revenue will go to 80 organizations in communities where people were adversely affected by drug use.
“This is the first year of being able to reinvest these dollars, these dollars are specifically geared to repair harm,” said Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, Illinois House Speaker Pro Tempore.
Around $1.5 million in grant money will be distributed to local organizations. One of these organizations is Tri-County Urban League, which will receive $440,747.
“The good thing about this is the grant is of a significant nature so that we can reach individuals and provide holistic services,” Laraine Bryson, President of Tri-County Urban League.
Bryson says her organization intends to use the money for a community empowerment program.
“We want to build the workforce of the future by taking individuals that have been disadvantaged over time, recruiting them, providing case management,” she said.
She says she believes the benefits of lifting up individuals, like R3 intends to do, goes far beyond the person themselves.
“As we empower individuals, they are becoming taxpayers in our community and that helps all of us by them contributing to the tax base,” Bryson said.
Peoria Public Schools ($858,669) and Prairie State Legal Services-Peoria Office ($216,576) will also receive money through R3.
Gordon-Booth says the grants will be distributed each year.